Watch How to Jamsu: The Korean Secret for Perfect Summer Foundation

By June 9, 2017

The Korean Jamsu makeup technique helps keep your foundation on all day. Find out how to do it in our latest K-beauty Bites video:

Keeping your makeup matte during the hot summer months can be a grade A struggle, especially for those of us with oily skin (there’s only so much sweat and oil that we can chalk up to the “dewy” look). But Korean women have a cure for runny, sweaty foundation. It’s called Jamsu.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Jamsu, which translates to “submerge” in Korean, is a new trend that’s been taking off as a way to keep foundation matte. Why is it called “submerge?” Well, because you dunk your head into a bowl of cold water right after you apply your makeup. We know, it sounds crazy. But hear us out: This method has been showing some phenomenal results.

We wrote about Jamsu before, but Tatiana, who self-tested it, has a normal to dry skin type. Since Jamsu is specifically great for people with oily and combination-oily skin type, we figured we’d give it another go for the people it’s really intended for. (Of course, anyone can use Jamsu and see results; it’s just that the results will likely be more noticeable for people with oily skin.)

Just like most the things we love, Jamsu takes a few steps. You start the process by applying your regular base makeup. (Don’t worry about eyes, lips, or blush/highlighter just yet—you’ll apply those after coming up for air.) Once your primer, foundation (we used the Missha M Magic Cushion in #27 the video), and concealer have all been applied, move on to the most important step: powder. The whole reason Jamsu works is because of the reaction between the powder and the water. The water repels the powder and pushes it into your skin. This means the powder is more set and stable and can last much longer.

Powder really is the backbone of this whole process and it’s critical that you apply your powder properly. The key here is make sure you’re using the right tool to get an even distribution of powder across the face. If you apply too much in one place, or not enough in another, your results will be uneven. We recommend using a powder with a puff, like the Banila Co Prime Primer Finishing Powder that we used in the video, to apply the powder evenly. Heads up: This part can get a bit messy, so make sure your hair is up with a headband and you’re wearing clothes you’re not worried about getting dirty.

Once your powder is evenly spread, you’re ready to dunk. Imagine K-beauty is your religion, and think of this as your baptism: You are ready to enter the world of perfect foundation. Place a bowl of cold water in front of you (and make sure the bowl you use is big enough for you to move your head around), take a deep breath, and submerge your face in the water.

The drier your skin type, the less time you should spend underwater, and vice-versa for those with oily skin. We recommend submerging your face three times, each time holding for ten seconds. While your face is submerged, make sure to tilt your head side to side and up and down to ensure the water gets everywhere, including along your cheeks and your hairline. After your last dunk, come back up and pat your face dry with a clean, dry towel. 

If you just don’t see yourself Jamsu-ing every single morning (hey, I hear you), there are other ways to successfully set your makeup. I call this method “mini-Jamsu:” Take a spray bottle full of water or essence—or a product like the Neogen Code 9 Sebum Clear Pore Mist—and spray a ton of it onto your face after applying your powder. Of course, you won’t use quite as much powder and the results may not last as long, but it can do the trick almost as well. 

+What do you think? Are you going to give the Jamsu makeup technique a try this summer?